Thursday meeting was Visitors Day and visitors to the Gravesend Chapter were given an insight into the workings of BNI plus the chance to do business with nearly 40 owner managers in the room. There is no requirement or even expectation that visitors will join the Chapter, the visitor is simply offered an invitation to attend the meeting and given the opportunity to do do business.
On arrival they were greeted by the visitor hosts, offered tea or coffee and introduced to other chapter members to have a chat and talk about their business in the open networking part of the meeting. Hopefully they were made to feel comfortable and confident and to gain an interest in what was going on at such an early hour of the day!
For the next part of the meeting, visitors were shown to their seats and PJ the Chapter Director asked the officers and committee members to stand and introduce themselves. This gave visitors an idea of who was who and some of the structure behind a typical meeting. The standard agenda was followed during which we learned that last month there were 254 referrals passed and business to the value of £71,476.83p was recorded. Chapter leader for referrals being Melvyn Potter of Potters Kitchens and Bathrooms ; leaders in visitors introduced were Melvyn Potter and Karen Lewis of Medway Flooring and the member who passed the highest value of referrals £(21,500) was PJ (Peter Jones) of PJ Office Services.
The 60 second presentations this week were very informative with many members electing to tell the meeting about actual jobs they had recently worked on rather than simply promoting their name and profession. The winner this week was Todd Miller of TDM Plastering.
Instead of the usual 10 minute presentation, three members told the meeting why BNI was working for them. Steve Kennedy of Paymentsense has been in the Chapter only 4 months but has seen a complete turnaround of his business in that time due to referrals and new contacts. Dareen Walker of Focus Electrical has been a member for 6 years and said that over the last 2 years he had achieved over £300,00 turnover from his BNI contacts. Mark Blenkarne, of Apex Law has been a member for 11 years. He still gets business through on-going contact with earlier members who give good quality referrals. Mark said that BNI also offered good friendship as well as good business relationships.
During the referrals and testimonials part of the meeting, visitors gained an idea of the amount of work that was being passed – 64 referrals this week. Visitors found themselves already involved in giving and receiving referrals for possible work. With over £71,000 worth of work passed last month alone it is easy to see how the total in six months reached over a million (£1,015,554.19)
At the end of this important part of the meeting, visitors are invited to have a chat over coffee with Visitor Hosts who answer any questions they might have about BNI and the Gravesend Chapter.
If a visitor likes the Chapter, he or she often visit a second time before submitting an application, which may or may not be accepted by the committee who consider many aspects before making the decision.
Anyone interested in coming along as a visitor to Gravesend Chapter should ask any member or talk to Melvyn Potter on 01474 331280
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Roger Crosby of Roger Crosby Photographic.